Diabetes Week is taking place from 10 to 16 June 2019 and aims to increase the public’s understanding of diabetes.
This year, we are asking people to share five facts to help people see diabetes differently.
1. Chances are, lots of people you know are living with diabetes.
One in 15 people live with diabetes. That’s 4.7 million people in the UK – more than cancer and dementia combined. That includes one million people who don’t even know they have Type 2 diabetes. In Northern Ireland, there are over 96,000 people living with a diabetes diagnosis.
2. There are different types.
Type 1 and Type 2 are the two main types of diabetes. There are rarer types too. What they all have in common is they raise sugar levels in the blood. And that can seriously damage the body. But why they happen and how they’re treated varies.
3. Anyone can get diabetes, at any time. It doesn’t discriminate.
Why people get diabetes is complicated. Some things increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, from genetics and ethnic background to gender, age and lifestyle factors. But sometimes it isn’t clear why people get it.
4. Diabetes is relentless. It’s day in, day out. It never stops.
It’s not just tablets or injections. It’s so much more than that. Every day involves a thousand little questions, decisions and things to remember. It’s appointments, checks, calculations, what to eat. It’s your care on your shoulders. It’s knowing things won’t always go to plan.
5. It might make life harder but it doesn’t have to change your ambitions or adventures.
For many people it never stops, but you don’t have to either. When you’ve got diabetes, just getting through the day can be a monumental achievement. But it doesn’t mean life stops. People have become professional athletes, topped the charts and ruled the country with diabetes.
Dr David Chaney, Assistant Director for Local Impact at Diabetes UK, said:
“We know diabetes is complicated and hard to understand. Whether it’s living with it, the causes or the various treatments, it’s never simple. It can be hard to talk about it openly, and start to tackle it when there’s so much misunderstanding.
“Living with the condition is tough enough, without having to worry about what other people think, feel or say. This Diabetes Week we want to help people know more about diabetes, not just as a condition, but about how it feels to live with it.
“We want to mark Diabetes Week by taking stock of how far we have come, the advances that have been made in diabetes care and our hopes for the future. There is a lot to celebrate in breakthroughs over the decades which have made life better for people living with this relentless condition. The more we know about diabetes, the better we can fight diabetes together.”
On Tuesday 11 June the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, will be attending the Diabetes UK Northern Ireland Diabetes Week event in the Long Gallery, Stormont. There will be a range of speakers discussing topics such as remission, prevention of Type 2 diabetes and technological advances in Type 1 diabetes care.
Dr McBride said, “I am delighted to support Diabetes Week. Whilst diabetes continues to be a very serious condition; we have much to be optimistic about. We are harnessing technology and an innovative approach to service delivery to materially improve the everyday experience of people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland. I am also encouraged by our focus on prevention through the new diabetes prevention programme and our continuing efforts in encouraging healthier lifestyles amongst our population.”
Support us this week using #SeeDiabetesDifferently #DiabetesWeek.
Events happening this week
Throughout the week, there will be a range of events and initiatives organised by Diabetes UK in Northern Ireland to raise awareness of the condition:
Tuesday 11 June – A volunteer led ‘Talkshop’ event at the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim from 7pm to discuss the importance of language and how to be a diabetes language champion
Tuesday 11 June - The Belfast City Hall will be illuminated in Diabetes UK blue to help raise awareness
Wednesday 12 June – Saturday 15 June - Diabetes UK volunteers will be at Rushmere Shopping Centre with a health stand and a range of information leaflets to raise awareness
Sunday 16 June – ChallengeHer Sportive, Armagh, will bring together cyclists from all over Northern Ireland to mark the end of Diabetes Week
Sunday 16 June - The Belfast Area Parent Support Group (BAPS) is hosting their ever popular Walk for Diabetes, Stormont, for all the family and plenty of activities and entertainment for all ages.